If you experience unexplained sadness every year, particularly during winter and fall, you could be struggling with a mental health condition. Seasonal depression, also known as a seasonal affective disorder or SAD, happens every year around the same time when the seasons change. So, how can you tell when you or your loved ones have the winter blues? At Northern Illinois Recovery, we can help you identify the warning signs.
The majority of the signs of seasonal depressive disorders resemble those of major depression. However, major depression and seasonal depression’s primary difference is that the latter’s symptoms manifest during fall and winter.
Sadness and Hopelessness
Like other depressive disorders, this mental health issue takes a toll on your mood. It pushes you into the sadness zone, taking your happiness away, leaving you feeling hopeless in life. Worse still, you may be unable to establish the cause of your sadness.
Strings of endless thoughts may run through your mind. Expect recurring, irrational beliefs about impending doom, which heightens early in the morning and late evenings. Do feelings of hopelessness clog your mind every winter? If yes, you may need to book an appointment with your therapist for further examination.
Suppose you often feel fatigued during winter and fall. You could even wake up in the morning feeling like you have been out for a tense workout when you have practically done nothing. If you are in such a situation, you may have a mental disorder.
Depression increases brain activity, causing the body to use more energy than usual. Insomnia means your body never gets its deserved rest at night, resulting in fatigue. Co-occurring disorders can worsen fatigue because most individuals suffering from a mental condition will resort to drug and alcohol abuse for self-medication.
It is advisable to avoid taking any intoxicating substances because this only complicates the underlying mental condition.
Despite ongoing studies trying to connect anxiety to depression and vice versa, evidence reveals that the two conditions co-occur. For individuals suffering from anxiety, there are several signs of seasonal depression that also manifest, such as:
- Feelings of edginess and nervousness
- Muscle tensions
- Panic attacks
- Difficulties in paying attention and concentrating for a more extended period
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
If you experience any or a combination of these symptoms during winter or fall, visit a therapist for diagnosis.
Inability to Control Emotions
If emotions easily overwhelm you during specific seasons of the year, it could indicate seasonal depressive disorders. Such mental conditions make it difficult to control your emotions due to swift mood swings.
At one moment, you might feel the motivation to pursue your goals and daily activities, while shortly after that, the psyche fades. You suddenly become highly irritable and on the verge of losing hope. However, these feelings will disappear when the season is over and resurface the following year.
It is among the most common signs of seasonal depression. After withdrawing from your social life, you may limit your movements and become less productive. The lack of physical workout causes an accumulation of fats in the body, resulting in a sudden weight gain.
The disorder will make you lose interest in your daily activities, despite taking your meals, due to the increased appetite. The good news is that you can overcome the signs characterizing seasonal depression and co-occurring disorders in rehab. Therapists can help you regain your everyday life by offering programs such as:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Chronic relapse prevention therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Trauma treatment
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery for Seasonal Depression Treatment
Do not let seasonal depression or any other depressive disorder weigh you down. You can overcome mental conditions at rehab. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery at 855.786.1978 today to get started on a customized depression treatment program.